(AP) - Several thousand acres of trees in a portion of the Black Hills National Forest are dying from what experts suspect is a combination of hail damage, fungus and drought. Black Hills Spruce Christmas Trees are noted for their dark green foliage and conical form. Black Hills Spruce Picea glauca var. The disease that affected your Blue Spruce is Leucostoma (Cytospora) canker. We have been receiving more contacts from people noticing the spruce decline around the state. If left untreated, it can severely defoliate and kill a tree in three to four years. Where it occurs: occurs throughout the state; Symptoms: The needles on the lower branches turn brown in the spring. It is a good addition to residential landscapes or for use in windbreaks. Black Hills spruce is a small- to medium-height tree with a dense habit and broad, pyramidal form. Wounds and high humidity increase the potential for this disease. Black Hills Spruce and Norway spruce are largely resistant to this disease - though not immune. Black Hills Spruce trees are very dense and have a deep dark green color. It slowly kills branches from the bottom up on Blue Spruce that are usually over 30 years old in the Midwest. Species affected: Primarily blue spruce, but Black Hills spruce may also be infected. Sawfly damage is seen from about mid-May through July. PRINGLE, S.D. It requires from 8 to 11 years in the field to produce a 6-7 foot tree. Tree Properties 1-10 Scale: 1 = Poor, 10 = Excellent: It varies from the typical white spruce in its denser, more compact habit and slower growth rate. Yellowheaded spruce sawfly and spruce budworm feed on new foliage on white, blue and black (Picea mariana) spruce trees. dens A large evergreen tree with a central trunk and dense, ascending, lateral branches from the ground up that form a broad pyramidal to conical crown. Black spruce is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 6. Black Hills spruce | … Two weeks ago we first reported on a severe decline of spruce trees throughout Michigan (see Spruce problems are probably caused by more than a single agent).Last week we reported that the malady appears to consist of two previously known diseases of spruce, that is, a branch death and … These branches generally have spots or streaks of bluish resin (black fruiting bodies may be found beneath these resin patches).